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Defense attorney in Dixon case argues jury shouldn’t hear statements made at hospital
0610DIXON
Attorney David Hoffer, left, and Hector Garcia-Solis talk during a break Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Superior Court Judge Jason Deal's courtroom. - photo by Nick Watson

Hector Garcia-Solis told a hospital employee he shot at an officer because he “did not want to get locked up,” according to a motion filed in 2020 in Hall County Superior Court.

Garcia-Solis is one of four accused in the death of Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon. Hearings were held Monday and Tuesday in the case before Superior Court Judge Jason Deal. Arguments were made Monday to change the venue of the upcoming trial.

Dixon, 28, died July 8, 2019, after pursuing four suspects in an allegedly stolen vehicle on Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Dixon and another deputy reached the suspects on Highland Avenue. Dixon was shot one time in an exchange of gunfire, according to the GBI.

Garcia-Solis along with Brayan Omar Cruz, London Alexander Clements and Eric Edgardo Velazquez are charged with murder in the Dixon case. All four men have pleaded not guilty.

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From left, Hector Garcia-Solis, London Clements, Brayan Omar Cruz and Eric Edgardo Velazquez.

Attorneys for Garcia-Solis want to suppress statements he made to hospital employees from being heard by a jury. Garcia-Solis’ attorney questioned medical professionals about his client’s mental state while staying in the ICU. 

During the July incident, Garcia-Solis was shot multiple times, including in the head. He was under watch in mid-July at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, when he spoke with a respiratory therapist, who was attempting conversation to “assess his neurological status, vocal cord strength, and airway status,” according to the suppression motion filed by the defense.

Garcia-Solis said he had won a gun at a basketball game, according to the motion detailing this conversation.

“She questioned him yet again about what he was doing while fleeing. He again admitted to shooting an officer,” according to the motion. “She asked whether he had hit one or multiple people. He denied knowing. She asked why he had taken the shot. He said, ‘I did not want to get locked up.’”

While questioning a pair of medical professionals called to the stand Tuesday, Chief Assistant District Attorney Wanda Vance asked if law enforcement had prodded them to make these inquiries, which was denied.

Defense attorney Matt Cavedon cross-examined the witnesses regarding medications his client received during his hospital stay.

One of the drugs was fentanyl, an opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.

One doctor testified he believed there was evidence that being in intensive care affected the suspect’s mental state.

According to the suppression motion, Garcia-Solis “made numerous other involuntary, uncomprehending and unconstitutionally obtained statements in the presence of law enforcement personnel throughout his hospitalization.”